This TR was originally posted in Sep 2009. However, since I accidentally deleted it’s linked Picasa album, I am re-posting it again with a live Picasa album.
Flight: Emirates EK226 (8,480 miles)
Aircraft: B777-200LR (A6-EWD)
Capacity (F/J/Y): 8/42/216
Actual Load(F/J/Y): 0/12/95
Seat: Economy, 38D
First of all, I would like to thank two of our a.net pals:
- Abrelosojos writes the best trip reports on a.net and allowed me to use his reports format to write this trip report.
- FlyEmirates helped me with valuable information that I needed about the flight on my pre-flight tread.
For the Labor's Day long weekend in the US (9/3/09~9/6/09), I decided to have a quick visit to my parents in my home town Shiraz, Iran (SYZ). Considering the fact that I live in San Francisco Bay Area and my whole trip was just for a weekend, flying to Dubai with EK226 and connecting to Iran Aseman Airlines EP6822 was the fastest way to get myself to Shiraz (EK226: 15:35hrs. Layover in DXB: 4:10hrs. EP6822: 45 minutes. Total Travel Time: 20:30 hrs).
Funny side note: My connecting flight EP6822 from DXB to SYZ got cancelled, so I ended up going to Tehran (IKA airport) from Dubai with EK975 and from there got a cab and went to Tehran Mehrabad Airport THR (45km far from IKA) and connected to Shiraz on Iran Air IR425! Got home 7 hrs late because of this, but it was such a fun journey
Anyway, this trip report is only about EK226 (Non-stop SFO-DXB) and I am very excited to post the first trip report for it on a.net and I hope that you enjoy it.
II > Pre-Flight:
I made my booking on www.emirates.com. Despite the fact that I had read complains about EK's website on some a.net forums, I found EK's website booking section very easy, user friendly and efficient. I was able to browse my flight options, pick my seats and purchase my ticket in just few minutes.
b) A nice try to get complimentary upgrade:
I googled pretty much every tricks and strategies to get a complimentary upgrade on EK226. I also, started a tread on a.net about it, but I was informed by our a.net pal FlyEmirates that the flight will be extremely light (F/J/C: 0/12/95), so pretty much no chances for complimentary upgrade. But, I figured out most people usually pick front seats, so the most empty seats must be in back of the ship. So I thought that if I book a middle seat in back of the ship, based on extremely light load of the flight, I could have a good chance to have the entire middle seats of that row for myself. And believe it or not, the strategy worked and I got lucky! I booked seat 38D for myself and luckily seats 38E & 38F were empty and I was able to lay down and have a good 8 hr sleep during my 15:35 hr journey to DXB
c) Online Check-in:
I was surprised that EK doesn't provide online check-in for the flights from USA. Pax must check-in at airport for EK flights departing from USA.
d) At Airport:
San Francisco Airport (SFO):
SFO is one of the best and most efficient airports in the world from efficiency and ease of use point of view. From the check-in desk to the gate it took me less than 10 minutes (Including security check).
I arrived at check-in desk at 15:50 (65 minutes before scheduled depature). I think I was the last person who checked-in, because there was no body except me in the line. The lady at check-in desk was very nice and friendy and processed my check-in in less than a minute.
Gate and Boarding:
As expected, not many passengers waiting at the gate. The boarding was done exactly on time and efficient:
EK226 is operated on one of the world’s most advanced airplanes: Boeing 777-200LR. The first thing you will notice from outside looking at this gorgeous girl (A6-EWD) is her beautiful body & theme. I spent long time looking at her from the gate before boarding. In my opinion B777-200LR is the most beautiful plane ever built (Sorry for bad quality of the following picture, which was caused by SFO’s tinted windows glass):
III > In-Flight:
a) First Impression:
Service is impressive from the moment you walk in. Blankets, pillows & headphones are already placed on the seats when you get to your seat. Hot towels, beverages and comfort kit are distributed shortly after takeoff. Most flight attendants were friendly and helpful. But, over all, it seemed that female cabin crew were more active and energetic compare to the two male cabin crew that I think just walked around and I didn't see them doing much during the entire flight.
Note the colored labels in the following picture: You can stick the labels on your seat before you sleep, so when you are sleeping the flight attendant knows if she should wake you up or not when they are serving meals or offering duty free.
Seats are very comfy with generous legrooms on EK’s B777-200LR fleet (Pitch: 33 degrees).
You will be also impressed with one of the most advanced in-flight entertainment systems in the world that EK provides to it's Y class pax:
- 10" screen:(Please correct me if I am wrong with the screen size. Because that's what I am guessing. I didn't have a ruler with me to measure the exact size of the screen).
- Personal 110V power plug: You usually don't see that in Y class on other airlines.
- USB & Ethernet plugs: With the USB socket you could connect your iPod or any player to the seat's screen and play. I haven't seen this feature on any Y class cabin of any other airlines.
- Alarm Clock: I was surprised by this function on AVOD. It's your personal wake up call!
- Latest movies on demand: If you LOVE watching movies during long flights, EK is your top choice with the most movies for sure!
- Flight Information & Map: EK offers one of the best flight information. But, I was disappointed that the front camera during EK226 flight was off (I don't know if it was broken or the Captain turned it off on purpose).
c) Bathrooms:Bathrooms were cleaned by the cabin crew frequently during the flight. I used the bathrooms few times during the flight and found them very clean every time.
d) Lighting: You'll enjoy perfect light on board of EK's B777-200LR fleet. Especially when you need to relax.
e) Meals & Beverages: Overall, I liked the meals and beverages. Flight attendants were very nice, friendly & professional during serving meals and beverages.
f) Route: EK226's route is one of the most interesting routes in the world. The reason is that to get to DXB from SFO, the plane doesn't take much of East or West direction. It directly flies North to the North Pole from SFO and from there it goes South by passing Russia and Iran until it reaches Dubai.
Over Northern California:
In case you haven't seen how the North Pole looks from 33,000 ft I'm sure you'll enjoy the following pictures:
Sorry for being off the topic here: In the following two pictures that I took from EK226 over the North Pole it seems that the ices in the North Pole are melting (Related to global warming? I hope not!)
g) Approaching Dubai: Iranian cities of Mashhad, Kerman and Bandar Abbas are the last cities that EK226 flies over before reaching Dubai.
IV> > Post-Flight:
Landing in Dubai was very smooth. I thanked the crew and took my way to transit area to catch my connecting flight to Iran.
V> Impressions + Scores:
Well… To be honest, I didn’t have much expectation from EK’s moody crew based on my previous experience with EK. However, this time I was impressed with the overall experience that I had on EK226 in Y class cabin (Off course most of it because of my favorite girl: The beautiful and sexy 772LR )
I was super surprised to see one of my most respected soccer legends Ali Daei at San Francisco International Airport. Ali Daei is the world's all-time leading goalscorer in international matches. I was impressed how down to earth, humble and friendly he was when I talked to him and took a picture with him: